Tag Archives: michelle grattan

Grattan / No pressure Joe, but you are back in the spotlight

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra THE government wants the public to take several political messages out of the Intergenerational Report (IGR) Joe Hockey is releasing on Thursday. Stated crudely, these are: first, that Labor’s policy settings would have taken us to hell in a hand basket; second, that but for the pesky Senate, the […]

Grattan / Medicare co-payment: a case study in policy implosion

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra TONY Abbott was in full confessional mode after Tuesday’s formal interment of the Medicare co-payment. As a former health minister, “I should have known better than to attempt health reform without the strong co-operation and support of the medical profession”, Abbott told parliament. “I accept chastisement,” Abbott said. “But […]

Grattan / Abbott gets poll help as Bishop complicates leadership question

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra ASLiberal MPs gather for more testing days in parliament, a Fairfax/Ipsos poll showing improvement in the ratings of both the Coalition and the prime minister should help Tony Abbott fireproof himself for the moment. The two-party vote has the Coalition up three points since January – it now trails […]

Grattan on Friday / Liberals sweat over timing of next tilt against Abbott

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra CANBERRA, thanks to politics being its main industry and the politicians being non-residents, is the quintessential fishbowl. When a leadership change is contemplated, people watch keenly to see who dines out with whom. So it was duly noted when Malcolm Turnbull, Scott Morrison and Greg Hunt were together on […]

Grattan / When is an offer not an offer? Ask Julie Bishop

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra THE government’s war on Human Rights Commission president Gillian Triggs has deepened into a major test of credibility, with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop flatly contradicting evidence given by a senior public servant. Bishop was asked in parliament on Wednesday what role the government had offered Triggs – who it […]

Grattan / Labor refers Brandis to police over offer to Human Rights Commission president

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra AFTER a day-long government assault on Human Rights Commission president Gillian Triggs, she’s still in place. But Labor has asked the police to investigate the conduct of Attorney-General George Brandis. It’s not exactly been a political triumph. An embattled government has embarked on an unnecessary fight, all because it […]

Grattan / Credlin crisis escalates with an outburst by the Liberal Party’s treasurer

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra TONY Abbott’s leadership is now so fragile that he seems nearly beyond being able to rebalance himself. Abbott is the victim of leaks and general destabilisation, and the continued miscalculations by himself and his office. The Liberals’ crisis over Abbott’s chief of staff, Peta Credlin, escalates by the day. […]

Grattan / Abbott’s message to Muslim leaders: speak up and mean it

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra TONY Abbott has urged Muslim leaders to speak out more – and sincerely – in the fight against terrorism, as he unveiled tough new measures that would remove or curb the citizenship rights of those linked to terrorist activity. Delivering his national security statement, Abbott said: “I’ve often heard […]

Grattan on Friday: The government wants a “conversation” about the budget’s future but can it get a disillusioned public to listen?

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra As it prepares to release the Intergenerational Report and put together its second budget, the Abbott government is headed into a perfect storm. It has minimal political capital. The futures of the prime minister and treasurer hang by a thread. The polls are bad and the backbench skittish. A […]

Grattan / Shorten likely to stay glued to Abbott on national security

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra THE national security debate, involving potentially life and death issues but heavily overlaid with politics by an embattled government, is tricky ground for the Labor opposition. Opposition leader Bill Shorten’s default position is bipartisanship. But he also has a constituency suspicious of ever more controls, which he can’t ignore. […]

Grattan / Turnbull isn’t challenging – just inviting the Liberals to make the comparison

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra MALCOLM Turnbull walked the high wire in a masterful Q&A performance on Monday night, as he displayed his credentials for leadership. Turnbull was neither loyal nor disloyal to Tony Abbott. He ran the government’s case but managed to stand apart from the prime minister. He made his dissent on […]

Grattan on Friday: Abbott’s “good government” gets lost in another bad week

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra IF, as Tony Abbott declared, good government started on Monday then, to borrow a Gillardism, it “lost its way” well before the week’s end. The days after Abbott’s “near death” experience provided no evidence he can revive a leadership now put on a warning. The public muddle over submarine […]

After Monday’s leadership binge came Tuesday’s hangover

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra AT Tuesday’s Coalition parties meeting, Julie Bishop declared, apparently rather theatrically: “That’s it! Leadership spills are so yesterday!” “People move on so quickly,” the Liberal deputy said. Well, not so much, as the foreign minister well knows. The past few days have left further strains in her relationship with […]

Abbott’s attempt to regroup means new policy uncertainty

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra TONY Abbott is precariously perched on icy slopes – deeply unpopular both in the community and with his backbench. More slips and/or continued disastrous polling would plunge him to political death, while the way to safer ground is difficult and there’s widespread doubt that he’s equipped to get there. […]

Newspoll delivers public's indictment of Abbott as he faces Liberals' verdict

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra Liberal MPs who must decide whether to spill the leadership are confronted by a Newspoll that’s truly shocking for the embattled Prime Minister. Labor has a massive 57-43% lead in two party terms, with the Coalition’s primary vote on 35%, down 3 points since the last poll and 10 […]